After leaving you hanging at the end of the Archie Manning era, we jump right back in to things, as Ole Miss football tries to move on without its most successful quarterback and head coach. Surely a firm foundation had been built and the rebuild would be a small one!
If you missed Part I, you may find those words here.
1971 Peach Bowl
Ole Miss 41, Georgia Tech 18
After jumping on Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets and building a 38-6 halftime lead, Ole Miss cruised to its first Peach Bowl title and a 10-win season, which was the last until 2003. Just your basic 32-year drought. Happens all the time.
Unrelated, RIP Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
1983 Independence Bowl
Air Force 9, Ole Miss 3
I would watch a movie called Four Field Goals in Shreveport, Louisiana. I may not enjoy it, but I would watch.
This game marked the end of a 12-year bowl drought* and Billy Brewer’s first bowl game as Ole Miss head coach. It also marked the first of roughly 37 Independence Bowl appearances for Ole Miss over the next three decades.
*Again, people should’ve been jailed for this drought.
1986 Independence Bowl
Ole Miss 20, Texas Tech 17
A Billy Brewer team put the ball in the air 50 times (!!!) because Shreveport in December causes you to make some weird choices. However, it worked because Mark Young lit up the Red Raiders for 343 yards.
More importantly, the game was won on a 48-yard field goal (lol with 12:16 remaining) by Brian Owen, who subscribed to the theory that great kickers use the single-bar facemask.
1989 Liberty Bowl
Ole Miss 42, Air Force 29
The game that’s remembered most for Chucky Mullins telling the team prior to the game that “It’s time”, followed by the team going out and drop-kicking Air Force into the Mississippi River.
1991 Gator Bowl
Michigan 35, Ole Miss 3
There are two things from this game that require adequate degrees of marveling. One, Michigan had 715 yards of total offense (but only 35 points!). Two, Ole Miss quarterback Russ Shows’ dad wearing the most legendary Gator Bowl hat known to man.
1992 Liberty Bowl
Ole Miss 13, Air Force 0
With this shutout win, the book was closed on Billy Brewer’s bowl appearances as Ole Miss head coach, and we were only two (2) years away from interim head coach Joe Lee Dunn.
1997 Motor City Bowl
Ole Miss 34, Marshall 31
Setting: Ole Miss film room
Tommy Tuberville: That Moss guy looks pretty good. Should we double him or always have a safety shade in his direction?
Art Kaufman: Nah, we’ll be fine with single coverage.
1998 Independence Bowl
Ole Miss 35, Texas Tech 18
The first game of Independence Bowl Hall of Fame member David Cutcliffe’s Ole Miss career was a success. Surely he would take this momentum and upgrade his first team’s bowl destination next season!
1999 Independence Bowl
Ole Miss 27, Oklahoma 25
Well, you know what, he lost four close games in the regular season, so maybe he caught a few unlucky bounces. Next year is sure to be the year he breaks through the mid-level bowl game ceiling!
2000 Music City Bowl
West Virginia 49, Ole Miss 38
Well, okay, motivation for bowl games is unpredictable. But did you see Eli Manning?!?!? He seems like he’s going to be really good. A lot to be excited about next year!
2001 No Bowl Game
Well, young team, first-year quarterback. Got that year of experience, so next year we’re going to take off!
2002 Independence Bowl
Ole Miss 27, Nebraska 23
2004 Cotton Bowl
Ole Miss 31, Oklahoma State 28
Having attended the Independence Bowl game against Nebraska and this game, I can confirm that this game was way more fun. Ole Miss fans were MILDLY excited about not being forced to exit I-20 in Shreveport.
This game also featured 2004 David Cutcliffe liking what 1999 David Cutcliffe did in a bowl game. Here’s Ole Miss first touchdown in the Cotton Bowl, a pass from Eli Manning to Tremaine Turner:
Travel back to 1999 (HOW IS THAT 20 YEARS AGO GETTING OLD IS THE WORST) and here’s Ole Miss’ first touchdown against Oklahoma in the Independence Bowl:
THE SAME DANG PLAY. Smh, Les Miles. Gotta watch all the film.
2009 Cotton Bowl
Ole Miss 47, Texas Tech 34
Speaking of Cotton Bowls that Ole Miss fans enjoyed to the 10th power, this game qualifies. After four-year stretch of 14 wins in 46 games, Ole Miss fans were ready to attack the postseason.
In fact, at one particular Dallas hotel bar, they allegedly set alcohol purchasing records in three consecutive nights. Additionally, if you were at the game and remember, the Ole Miss side of the Cotton Bowl ran out of beer in the first quarter. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE, COTTON BOWL COMMITTEE.
The highlight of the game, outside of trashing Texas Tech, was the Red Raiders trying an onside kick from their own seven and a half yard line, due to penalties committed on their two-point attempt.
2010 Cotton Bowl
Ole Miss 21, Oklahoma State 7
Speaking of Cotton Bowls that Ole Miss fans did not enjoy, this one! While the Rebels won, it was the grossest of gross wins. The teams combined for 12 turnovers (five by Ole Miss), two failed fourth-and-goal attempts, and two missed field goal attempts (both by Ole Miss).
I remember watching from home and being very pleased with my decision to not go to Dallas. A rare moment of good judgment.
This was also the last bowl game in which Houston Nutt was allowed to coach a team because young man’s game and such.
2013 BBVA Compass Bowl
Ole Miss 38, Pittsburgh 17
According to the NCAA, this game never happened and, thus, is not a part of history. However, if you want to see a very illegal feed of Dr. Bo roasting Pitt’s defense with FOUR VERTS, here’s your chance*.
*Pls do not view in public because you will be arrested.
2013 Music City Bowl
Ole Miss 25, Georgia Tech 17
Yet another win over Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets, and this time it was led by Dr. Bo, who piled up 342 total yards and three total touchdowns. Paul Johnson, your thoughts on last beating Ole Miss in the 1955 Sugar Bowl?
2014 Peach Bowl
TCU 42, Ole Miss 3
Ah, yes, glad I took the day off from work to stay home and watch this. I don’t have a specific time stamp, but roughly two minutes into this game, you could tell it was time to SIM TO END Y/N? YES YES YES YES YES.
Ole Miss had 129 yards of total offense and one saddest of all sad field goal attempts.
2016 Sugar Bowl
Ole Miss 48, Oklahoma State 20
Ole Miss’ last bowl game thanks to a combination of hilariously inept recruiting at certain positions by Hugh Freeze (GOT TO HAVE MORE DANG STARS - send Tweet) and the program being sent to NCAA supermax prison for more hilariously inept recruiting choices and exemplary cooperation.
However, for a last bowl appearance, it was SOMEWHAT fun. SWAG Kelly dropped 300 yards and four touchdowns on the Cowboys, Laquon Treadwell caught three TDs, and Laremy Tunsil disrespected an entire defense and their families with his walk-in touchdown right before halftime.
While all of it was wonderful, the team meeting in the end zone after Tunsil scored was my favorite “give us all the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties you can” moment in Ole Miss football history.
As I’ve said, I don’t think Ole Miss will end the bowl-less streak this season, but we’ll likely find out whether it’s possible during the first 30 minutes against Memphis on Saturday. GODSPEED TO US ALL.